LAPD identify 28-year-old man as suspect in Trader Joe's hostage situation staff KABC logo
Sunday, July 22, 2018
1 dead after standoff at Trader Joe's
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ABC's Marci Gonzalez has the latest on the standoff at an LA Trader Joe's.

LOS ANGELES, California -- Los Angeles police identified a gunman Sunday suspected of holding hostages inside a Trader Joe's in Silver Lake.

He was identified as 28-year-old Gene Evin Atkins, who was booked on suspicion of murder. His bail was set at $2 million.

Investigators continued combing the area 12 hours after an armed chase suspect ran into the market and held several people hostage for about three hours, starting around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The store manager, identified by family members as Melyda Corado, was shot and killed during the incident, possibly in the crossfire between LAPD officers and the suspect.

Melyda Corado, the Trader Joe's store manager killed in Silver Lake who was identified by family members, is shown in an undated photo.

Around 1:30 p.m. in South Los Angeles, authorities said the suspect was involved in a family dispute, eventually shooting his 78-year-old grandmother seven times before fleeing the scene with a woman he'd also shot.

The suspect took the woman, who may be his girlfriend, into a vehicle and drove off. Authorities tried to stop him in Hollywood, but he led them on a chase. At one point, he opened fired on officers from the vehicle, shattering his back window.

During that shooting, the suspect crashed into a pole near the Trader Joe's in the 2700 block of Hyperion Avenue. He was shot in the arm and then ran inside the supermarket as authorities returned fire, shooting out the glass doors of the business.

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Employees and customers inside the store dove for cover as the bullets flew. Police believe Corado was shot inside the store, possibly during this shootout. Authorities tried to render aid, but she died at the scene.

As the standoff continued, the suspect held people hostage and made demands with crisis negotiators. But around 6:30 p.m., the suspect surrendered and walked out with the hostages. He asked if he could place the cuffs on himself, authorities said.

The suspect, who has not been identified, is said to be about 28 years old.

Trader Joe's released a statement following the incident.

"Our hearts are broken over what happened today. This has been an incredible trauma, and our thoughts are with our Crew Members and customers. Our focus is on doing whatever we can to support them at this time. We appreciate everything Los Angeles law enforcement did to ensure an end to this ordeal."

Authorities said the suspect's grandmother was in critical condition at the hospital and the other woman he shot only suffered a graze wound to her head. She is expected to survive.